For this month’s Black History Celebration we celebrate ‘Two Time Gold Medal Olympic Champion Winne,r” Gabrielle (Gabby) Douglas. “In 2012, at the London Summer Olympics, the 16 year old became the first African American ever to win in both the team and individual all around competition.” Her achievements are not only a reward for her hard work and dedication, but her story behind the success is truly inspirational.
Coming from a single parent home and being the youngest of 4 children Gabby learned from her mother about sacrifice and determination. Her mother, Natalie Hawkins was initially reluctant on sending Gabby away to Iowa for training. But it was Gabby along with her older siblings that convinced her mother that going away would be the best thing for her and worthwhile.
Although her mother found it difficult to let go of her child by allowing her to stay with a family she didn’t even know, she has no regrets! Gabby resided with the Parton family who treated Gabby like part of the family and she trained with her Coach, Liang Chow. Gabby, at one moment decided to come home, but words the from her mother convinced her to stay and that all her hard work was not in vain.
Today, Gabrielle Douglas is not only an Olympic winner, but an inspiration and role model for young girls and boys by exemplifying her courage, faith, resilience and determination. She currently has her own book; “Grace, Glory and Gold: My Leap of Faith” as well as her own gymnastics apparel line with GK Elite Sportswear, L.P.
Sources and Images credit: http://gabrielledouglas.com
Gabrielle Douglas Collection: http://www.gkelite.com